People of Northwest Public Radio
Mon January 30, 2012
Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1
Frédéric Chopin was known for his piano works, and famous for solo piano pieces. But he also composed a number of piano concertos (pieces to be accompanied by other instruments). One of his first was Piano Concerto No. 1.
The first movement of the E minor concerto has three themes, which are introduced by the orchestra. The piano then plays the first theme (bar 139), followed by the lyric second theme (bar 155), accompanied by the main motif of the first theme in bass counterpoint. The third theme is in E major, introduced in the exposition by the orchestra and taken over by the piano (bar 222). The development begins in bar 385, with the piano bringing back the second theme and further developing it. The recapitulation begins in bar 486 again with the orchestra playing its opening theme. The cadenza, whose bass trill paints a gloomy backdrop, requires utmost care by the pianist.
Listen to a sample of the concerto above.